By Erin E. O'Neill
The Marietta Times
From Victorian drama to marionettes to blues, funk, rock and soul, entertainment opportunities abound in the Mid-Ohio Valley, no matter what your taste.
There are opportunities to perform in theater, to experience educational and family-friendly programs, or to just kick back and enjoy some live music.
Mid-Ohio Valley Players
Mid-Ohio Valley Players 2011-2012 season
"Look Homeward Angel" - April 27-28, May 4-5, 11-12 at 8 p.m. May 6 at 3 p.m.
Evergreen Arts & Humanities 2011-2012 season
April 21 - The Cashore Marionettes, 8 p.m.
May 13 - Mother's Day concert featuring Ellie and Leela Grace, 3 p.m.
Tickets are free but seat passes are available and highly recommended.
The Adelphia April events
Saturday - Elemental Groove Theory, 9:30 p.m.
April 20 - Jones for Revival, 9 p.m.
April 21 - Hit Parade, 9:30 p.m.
April 28 - Todd Burge and Tim O'Brien CD release party, 8 p.m.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Players theater puts on half a dozen shows a season, including youth theater productions. The most recent production, "Angel Street," wrapped up March 31. The organization began in 1959 and moved into its current home at 227 Putnam St. in 1977 through fundraising efforts. The theater continues to be run by volunteers and through donations from the community.
Recently the theater has expanded into the building next door, which allows for more rehearsal space and room for costumes.
"A year ago last December, we purchased the Dye building and we have rented the bottom and use the upstairs," said outgoing president Billie Harmon. "We've doubled our space."
The theater also uses space on the other side of the theater for meetings. A group of volunteers has cleaned and repainted the lobby of the theater and there are hopes that a boost from the state of Ohio will enable the group to put in much needed updated air conditioning and heating units.
A younger group of volunteers has taken more responsibility to allow the community theater to expand and thrive in the future, according to Harmon.
"We are a family theater and we want to continue to be something that Marietta can be proud of," she said. "We also want to try to keep our prices down."
On tap for this summer is the MOVP Junior Players production of "Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr." According to Harmon, next year's season will include the musical "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," a drama and several comedies. Information on performance dates, auditions and tickets can be found at the group's website, www.midohiovalleyplayers.org.
Evergreen Arts and Humanities
Popular performers, such as the Cashore Marionettes, and children's programs, like Garry Krinsky's "Toying With Science," are what makes Washington State Community College's Evergreen Arts and Humanities series so successful.
"We're really lucky. We have received no negative feedback in terms of the programs we present in the past 12 years," said Tanya Wilder, WSCC professor and chair of the series. "People have been well-satisfied with the time they have spent with us and typically leave with a smile on their face."
The college presents nine to 10 programs a year in the Graham Auditorium, all of which are free and open to the public, and range from dance to lectures to world music and more. Funding comes from the community through fundraisers and grants from Artsbridge and the Ohio River Border Initiative.
There are two more programs scheduled for this season, including the aforementioned Cashore Marionettes and a Mother's Day concert by Ellie and Leela Grace, followed by a Mother's Day tea. Wilder is keeping mum on what's to come for next year, except to say that they are planning to have return engagements by some favorite performers.
"We'll be bigger and better and there will be plenty of surprises," she said.
The Adelphia Music Hall
The Mid-Ohio Valley is full of talented musicians but the area doesn't exist in a bubble. That is where the Adelphia Music Hall comes in. Since its opening in June 2012, The Adelphia has hosted national acts such as Southern Culture on the Skids and the Bob Thompson Unit, and regional favorites, Maybe Logic, Fletcher's Grove, Sacra Via and The Carpenter Ants.
Todd Burge, a West Virginia-based singer/songwriter, hosts Songwriter Night at The Adelphia, which showcases local and regional talent and is the area's only locally-produced live radio program to feature these performers.
Burge has also had a hand in bringing some national acts to The Adelphia.
"The feedback has been amazing on all fronts," Burge said of the community reaction to The Adelphia. "I constantly get emails and calls from people thanking me for some of the shows I book there ... Anyone who has ever set foot in The Adelphia quickly realizes how special it is."
Among the acts that will grace The Adelphia stage this coming year include Larkin Poe, Elemental Groove Theory, Cadillac Lester and Grammy-winner Tim O'Brien.
With The Galley restaurant next door and The Hackett Hotel upstairs, Burge said that The Adelphia is a "one-stop entertainment center."
"I have toured a lot as a musician in cities all over the U.S. and The Adelphia would be considered an upscale music venue in any larger city. We are really lucky to have this in the Mid-Ohio Valley," he said.